Sunflower River Blues Festival Look Back

Clarksdale plays host to the 27th Annual in 2014

Becky Williams, Magical Madge and Shelley Ritter at Sunflower River Blues Festival

Becky Williams, Magical Madge and Shelley Ritter at Sunflower River Blues Festival 2008

By MAGICAL MADGE

Clarksdale, Mississippi (VIDEO)

Remember when the main stage was only about 12-feet-wide and was on a mobile trailer? I do. That was likely the mid ’90’s.

The Sunflower River Blues Festival used to be all we had here in Clarksdale, Mississippi, when it came to blues festivals. It was a big deal way back then because, growing up in the Mississippi Delta, we just never had many places to ever go hear live music.

Oh, in the 70’s, we were known to gather in a rural mechanics tin shed at night, push back the equipment and what not, then drag the soiled and found couches and chairs into the middle of the floor, and our musician friends would plug in and crank it up. That was our modified version of a juke joint, I guess.

Today, Clarksdale boasts live music seven nights a week. We couldn’t say that three years ago! We’ve come a long way, and more festivals are being birthed and they are growing year by year.

The Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival officially begins Thursday, August 7, 2014, for the Very Important People and begins for the rest of us on Friday, August 8, 9 and 10. CLICK HERE to check out the festival lineup.

Even though this festival is concentrated in one spot, the Delta Blues Museum stage, plus an acoustic stage, music abounds all over town in a multitude of places.

We have never limited our experience to just the main stage. We wander around. A lot. The various other venues include, but are not limited to: Red’s LoungeGround Zero Blues ClubClub 2000Cat HeadBluesberry CafeDelta Blues RoomHambone GalleryRock & Blues MuseumDelta Amusement CafeStone PonyYazoo PassPink BarDelta Blues Alley CafeHopson CommissaryJuke Joint Chapel and buskers on the corners.

Be sure to check out our SOUNDS AROUND TOWN in CLARKSDALE post for a listing of all the other music you will find beyond the Sunflower Fest.

Thank you to Roger Stolle, owner of Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art store, for his indefatigable promotion of blues in our town.

Now, enjoy our little look back at some past Sunflower Festivals.

VIDEO
[youtube]http://youtu.be/D9ylX0p2W-8[/youtube]

Sunflower River Blues Festival goers on the lawn in Clarksdale

Sunflower River Blues Festival goers on the lawn in Clarksdale

 

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